Chase suggested on Twitter that the GOP’s leadership was plotting an end-run around voters in selecting its candidates this year for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
“They’ve chosen an illegal nomination method and have yet to remedy the situation,” Chase tweeted, referring to the GOP’s State Central Committee (SCC). “Unless something changes; the SCC not the people will chose [sic] our statewide candidates. We the People know best.”
A GOP spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Chase, a fiery populist who has styled herself after President Donald Trump, says in her lawsuit that the party’s governing body has met several times this year and last year and indicated its preference for holding a convention. But it also says the SCC has been unable to muster the necessary votes to alter the party’s rules for a convention, which would require thousands of GOP delegates to meet in person.
Given that the coronavirus pandemic is unlikely to be under control and government decrees are likely to remain in place before state-imposed deadlines, the lawsuit says the party appears to be on a course of choosing a convention it won’t be able to hold.
The lawsuit asks the court to issue an injunction against the Republican Party of Virginia and provide any other relief necessary but stops short of calling for a primary.
Chase is one of several GOP contenders for the state’s top elected office. After the party voted in December to hold a convention, Chase warned she would run as an independent, but she later decided to return to running as a Republican.
Chase was formally censured by the state Senate last month after she referred to those who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as “patriots.” She filed a federal lawsuit this month against the Senate over her censure.